Bowden House School

Name Bowden House School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 08 July 2014
Address Firle Road, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 2JB
Phone Number 01323893138
Type Special
Age Range 9-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Tower Hamlets
Percentage Free School Meals 59.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.1%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Bowden House is a smaller-than-average special school. It provides residential care for boys with severe behavioural, emotional and social disabilities. A small number of boys have been diagnosed with autism and a significant minority has speech and language difficulties. All students have a statement of special educational needs. They are all residential, with most students arriving back on Sunday evening. Students in Year 10 and Year 11 progress to independent travel on a Monday. At the time of the inspection there were no pupils in Key Stage 2 and none in the sixth form. Most students come from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, although an increasing number are from other local authorities. Almost all students are supported by pupil premium (additional funding provided by the government for those pupils eligible for free school meals or in care). The proportion from minority ethnic backgrounds is above average. A very small minority speak English as an additional language. All students are currently educated on site, although the school uses a wide variety of alternative providers for short placements, according to students’ needs.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Students achieve well in English and mathematics. They make exceptionally good progress in their communication skills and in developing confidence in their ability to read. Teaching is never less than good. There is much that is outstanding and teaching assistants make a significant contribution to students’ progress. Students say they make better progress at Bowden House than at their previous schools because of the good teaching and support they are given. They thoroughly enjoy many interesting activities organised by the school and say they feel safe. Behaviour is managed exceptionally well and students are confident that the teaching and care staff will help and support them. Very strong leadership by the headteacher, well supported by senior staff, results in a continuous drive for improvement. There is a very effective focus on improving students’ academic progress and on providing them with opportunities to undertake vocational activities that will improve their life chances. Governors provide the school with outstanding support and challenge. The school meets the national minimum standards for residential special schools. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Students’ progress in writing and mathematics, although good, is not as rapid as it could be. The new procedures for recording sanctions have not yet been implemented. Teachers do not consistently identify how students might improve their work and ensure students act on their comments.